The Making of “Mr. Pointy Comes to Brooklyn”

Has everyone seen the fantastic work the Indianapolis Museum of Art is doing on their YouTube channel? It’s hard to miss and we’ve been watching their videos for while now in complete amazement. They’ve got a little bit of everything on their channel including staff profiles, short videos and video series from recent exhibitions and installations. I was excited to meet the folks in charge of the channel recently, Daniel Incandela and Despi Mayes, when they were visiting NYC. One of the things I love about the IMA videos is they do everything with their own in-house staff – no outside producers. It’s clear to me that there’s a lot of commitment and quality here that’s rooted in the mission of the institution. YouTube is just one part of the awesome IMA web presence. While you are at it, check out their new blog, the dashboard and the latest web feature for Breaking the Mode.

So, why am I starting this post with the IMA? Well, we just produced a short video for our exhibition © MURAKAMI and while video is not something we tend to do a lot of at the Brooklyn Museum, we are very proud of this one. “Mr. Pointy Comes to Brooklyn” was inspired by the IMA’s “LOVE MOVE“. Shot in timelapse style, our new video documents the load in and assembly of Takashi Murakami’s sculpture, Mr. Pointy, which is now on display in the Rubin Pavilion throughout the run of the exhibition. One of the things we really liked about “LOVE MOVE” was the way the IMA combined different types of footage to produce a video that could really hold your attention. We worked with the same format, combining still shots taken from the ground with timelapse shots from the roof, then shifting to a true timelapse of the sculpture being assembled.


To get some of the footage, we set up shop on the roof of one of buildings across the street from the Museum. Bob (left) and Francesca (right) almost froze up there! This part of the load in lasted all day and they shot more than 2000 images to go into the final timelapse. Those of us on the ground kept joking that they looked like snipers on the roof. Many thanks to Victor, the superintendent of the building across the street. Not only did he arrange to get us access, he provided electricity so we could power our equipment all day.


Bob hard at work and cold!

After the first day, we all got to move inside to warmer surroundings. At the same time we were shooting, Ruby Washington, a photographer from the New York Times, was here capturing shots for a piece just published in our hometown paper. Check out her great flicks in Carol Vogel’s article. We’ve also got a series of shots of our own up on Flickr if you are into the close-ups.


The view down Washington Avenue was pretty cool…note the pigeons decided to oversee the shoot!

You may notice there’s no music in the video. We really wanted to use a track from mobygratis, but we were just shy of time needed to get the approval for the track and our request is still “pending”, so it’s a bit of a silent movie right now. Once the exhibition completes its run we will have to take the video off YouTube and the flicks off Flickr, but we are thrilled we can share them with you for this limited time. Thanks to The Nugget Factory for the inspiration! Daniel, now we need advice about how to make transitions that will look good when YouTube does its compression. It looks so much better when we host it.